Super3 - a supercapacitor LPS, by Farad Power Supplies

QuadDiffusor

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Since acquiring three SOtM components, (2 x fully-loaded NH-10Gs, and a fully-loaded USBultra, then rejecting the OCX10 due to an unsatisfying audition) first introduced by fellow WBF member CKKeung after his visit to my home, to improve the quality of data streamed from TIDAL as well as the fidelity of signals fed to my MSB Technology Select II DAC's ProUSB and ProISL modules, I have been on the lookout for both DC power supplies and cables which outperform the standard SOtM offering, namely the sPS-500 and the unshielded thin-gauge copper conductor DC power cables.

Admittedly, it’s only an educated guess of mine that having an SMPS in the AC supply is deleterious to the sound of the whole system due to noise, both radiated and parasitic/transmitted, generated during the rectification and regulation process, as objective data is very scarce. But luckily, the Dutch review I will mention subsequently bares for all to see the noise spectrum measured at the output for some widely available power supplies both linear and switched-mode, suggesting that it’s the overall design and implementation, not merely characterizing them as good/bad as polar opposites; however, the toroidal transformer-based architecture seems to be the more commonly adopted baseline foundation as it's inherently better in achieving the desired performance parameters with perhaps the only downside in having less flexibility and versatility in changing output voltages on the fly.

An example of how the PLiXiR outperformed the sPS-500 when powering the OCX10 clock:
https://www.whatsbestforum.com/thre...etwork-gadget-setup.27758/page-14#post-614769

My first acquisition was the Singaporean PLiXiR Elite BDC 12V/2A LPS, which I had made in a dual-stacked configuration to obviate the need for two AC cables, which can both be rather costly and unwieldy, when jammed into the space behind typically-crowded component racks. Due to a shockingly disappointing service from the local Hong Kong dealer, the unit sadly did not arrive at my home until well past one month after the day it landed in HK from Singapore, when I had also fully paid for it - an egregiously bad behavior which thankfully I was finally able to neutralize through massive efforts in filing a formal complain to the Consumer Council, as well as by leveraging my relationship with another passionate WBF member and the founder of PLiXiR himself. Buyer beware!

The double-stack PLiXiR Elite BDC is currently powering my two NH-10Gs via a Ghent Audio made DC cable, the Canare 4S8 StarQuad (4 x 16AWG conductors, which are thicker conductors than the 4S6 version) with JSSG 360 shielding. Perhaps I'll start separate threads on the topic of PLiXiR LPSs, and Ghent Audio DC cables, but that's for another day.

https://www.plixirpower.com/collections/elite-bdc/products/plixir-elite-bdc-2a-4a-6a
https://www.ghentaudio.com/part/dc-4s6-360.html

My bad experience with the local PLiXiR dealer was a mixed blessing, as it luckily put me on the path of considering alternative brands and products.

I was thus looking out for a different LPS which would (likely) outperform even the PLiXiR Elite BDC, to power the most critical last-mile source component, the SOtM USBultra, and was intrigued with a recently-released European unit made by Farad Power Supplies, called the Super3, mentioned by fellow WBF member Abyss Man. I did my preliminary due diligence through the Internet, and was delighted to find that the designer/manufacturer's website was not only well endowed with both technical data and design philosophy, but that the founder Mattijs was extremely helpful and friendly through my email correspondences with him.

As there were no dealers for Farad Power Supplies in Hong Kong, I ordered a fully-upgraded model directly (having the Furutech rhodium input connector, and the Synergistic Research Orange fuse). Happily, the unit arrived within ten days of ordering, and was delivered by Santa in time for Christmas, along with the most excellent Intona USB Ultimate cable, and the Ghent DC cable. The latter's connection cable collar unfortunately arrived damaged, and amidst the holiday hustle and bustle and the complexities of inbound registered mail to China, the replacement cable didn't arrive until less than a week ago. Hence, I had to delay my write-up for a couple of weeks until now, when at last, the peripheral components consisting of cables (both DC and USB), and the DC power supplies (both the PLiXiR and Farad) were sufficiently settled for me to have a good listen.

https://faradpowersupplies.com/shop/en/home/42-13151-super3-power-supply.html

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QuadDiffusor

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During the next few postings (please allow me some time !), I will provide information on the Power 3 through Google-translated pages of the Dutch review, in which the reviewer scrutinizes the technical performance of five (or six) popular DC power supply units, and publish detailed objective performance data. Just what we audiophiles need for busting through the obfuscation of marketing gibberish! The data persuaded me to jump straight in even without first having done a home audition, a welcome service becoming more common nowadays with local brick-and-mortar dealers as they evolve and adopt to the needs of the marketplace. Home auditions are particularly welcome across oceans, eminently possible with more "affordable" shipping-friendly components like cables.
 
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spiritofmusic

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QD, I've been in PM contact for a while w someone here who really knows their stuff. He's tried all the LPSs out there. Only recommends this Farad and Paul Hynes.
 

Elberoth

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Just read the dutch review. It seems to be a very interesting product.
 

mikey8811

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Thanks for the heads up on the Farad. It would be interesting to hear your comparison between that and the Plixir Elite BDC.

I am currently using the Plixir. It replaced an Uptone LPS 1.2 in my system since I had a bad experience with the reliability of Uptone products and their service (I am in the process of getting rid of all of them). The Plixir outperforms the Uptone.

I will be needing more power supplies so if you find it outperforms the Plixir, do chime in as I would be interested in getting one too.

Thanks
 
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QuadDiffusor

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So here goes... the following are English translations, (mostly) verbatim from Google Translate, of the content from Alpha Audio's website published about a year ago, which I have laboriously and lovingly reconstructed; credit and copyrights rightfully belongs to the author:

https://www.alpha-audio.nl/review/multitest-externe-12-volt-voedingen/

INTRODUCTION

External power supplies: it seems like the new audio product! Reason enough for us to take a look at what is available and to put a couple next to each other. But we are not only going to listen. Everyone can do that. No ... we will also measure. With some help, because we - unfortunately - do not yet have AudioPrecision and precision measuring equipment at the office. We put two Keces feeds, a Sbooster, Farad and a small ifi feed next to each other. Let the Battle Begin!

We have performed two measurements on the power supplies. The first is a noise measurement. This is done via an AudioPrecision System 2 (cascade, dual domain). We provide a load of 0.5 amps on all power supplies. The measurement is both taxed and untaxed. This is to determine how quiet the power supplies are and to see how they react to a load.

The second measurement is a bit more complex. Here we load the power supplies and we inject an alternating current (1 kHz square wave) into the chain. So we are adding a modulated signature. This is to see how the diet responds to this. A load from a dac is not constant. It is therefore crucial to see how a feed handles this varying load. We can see on a scope whether the injected square wave is completely deformed or whether the feed can follow neatly. The diagram of this setup is made visible below.
Testopstelling.jpg

What we can demonstrate with these tests is: noise level and distortion. These are two critical characteristics for a good diet. As a baseline we have grabbed a standard wall plug that you will get with many a switch. Below you see what we get to see as a result. Simply dramatic.

WA24E12N.jpg
WA24E12.jpg

WA-24E12-tot-1kHz-belast-en-onbelast.jpg
WA-24E12-1kHz-tot-100kHz-belast-en-onbelast.jpg

Both untaxed and taxed, this food swings enormously. In addition, it simply cannot follow the 1 kHz pulse at all. The noise that suddenly rises after 20 KHz is particularly worrying. In short: no suitable food to provide a decent component in a high-quality hi-fi system with energy.
 
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QuadDiffusor

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Overzicht-voedingen-voedingetest-2-1024x768.jpg
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LISTENING

Of course we also listened to the power supplies. We did this with a Mytek Liberty dac. This can be supplied either with 230 volts or with a 12-volt power supply. The Mytek goes to a Pass Labs XP12 pre-stage that provides a Bryston 4B SST3 with signal. This controls a pair of Focal Sopra No1.

Let's look at the first candidate!
 
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QuadDiffusor

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IFI-12volt-3-1024x768.jpg
IFI LN1230

The IFI iPower comes in multiple flavors. We test the 12 volt version. Countless plugs come in the box so that everyone can find a suitable size. Decently. The adapter is of a switching type (which can also be seen in the measurements). However, Ifi has done his homework and the noise must be under control.

All in all you get for 59 euros a neat adapter with many tips and a neat finish. Let's take a look at this "audio adapter".

IFI12VN.jpg
IFI12V.jpg
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LN-1230-1kHz-tot-100kHz-belast-en-onbelast.jpg
We can be quite short: the ifi performs well for the money. The noise is considerably lower than with the standard wall adapter. We see, without load, what peaks arise. Apparently the regulator only works well if there is a load. We also clearly see peaks at a multiple of 50 Hz. Both. taxed as untaxed.

The Ifi LN-1230 responds nicely to the square wave. He follows neatly. Perhaps not the fastest of the bunch, but good for the money. All in all a great buy. No criticism here.

Voltage loaded: 12.05
Voltage unloaded: 12.18
Noise max: -82 (50 Hz)
Noise min: -148

LISTENING
Of course we will also listen. And to be honest: the ifi sounds better than the standard nutrition in the Mytek. That surprises us a bit. However, we do not recommend the combination. It is a small step. And if you just keep saving for a more powerful model, you'll get a huge leap in display quality.

SUMMARY
Great product. Both technically and sound in order.
 
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QuadDiffusor

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Sbooster-BOTW-12v-1-1024x768.jpg
Sbooster-Gen2-voeding-2-1024x683.jpg

Sbooster BOTW Gen2

Sbooster is well-known in the world of nutrition. The new linear BOTW gen-2 must be a bit better than the previous versions. We have the 12-volt version with a built-in "ultra". Another Ultra can handle that (that box ... so there is a voltage regulator chip with filter in it ...). We have tested with and without an extra box. However, we did not know during the test that the power supply should be at 13-volt if you connect an extra Ultra ... then the rising noise disappears after 30 kHz.

Sbooster also supplies its linear power supplies with all kinds of adapter tips. Everyone must be able to find the right size. The extra Ultra is optional.

MEASUREMENTS

SBOOSTN.jpg
SBOOST.jpg
BOTWmk2-met-Ultra-tot-1kHz-belast-en-onbelast.jpg
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The Sbooster performs well. Remarkably stable compared to some competitors. We only see 50 Hz harmonics in the 50 - 700 Hz range. Then it disappeared. A bit silly: with the Ultra connected, the harmonic shifts ... We can't explain that; a phase shift?

The Sbooster can follow a square wave. We see a good response to our injected signal. Neat flanks; no wrinkle. Without a doubt a neat performance that shows that the food is pretty stable and fast.

Voltage loaded: 11.7
Voltage unloaded: 11.74
Noise max: -83 (100 Hz)
Noise min: -148

LISTENING
Man: what an upgrade this is! Unbelievable what this food does with the Mytek Liberty. The dac simply plays two to three levels higher. And that is no exaggeration. At Portishead we hear considerably more layers, detail and ambiance. In addition, the staging is larger and more spatial. Especially in the beginning it is more pleasant to listen: the silence can be heard and felt with the Sbooster. And when it gets busier, the high hats no longer clog up. Something that is very annoying listening with the standard power supply of the Mytek. We did not expect such a big difference ... certainly make the investment if you have not already done so.

SUMMARY
We have been following Sbooster for years. And we use the power supplies intensively because we think they sound good ... the measurements prove this. And the listening test ditto. In short: great buy for 329 euros.
 
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QuadDiffusor

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Keces P3 and P8

Keces is a new brand for us. We didn't know it yet. The cabinets look very neat: without a doubt the most beautiful finish in this test. The Keces P3 offers two outputs. The Keces P8 offers two normal outputs and one USB output. In short: three in total. In addition, the P8 offers a display on which the consumption and voltage can be seen.

With its linear power supplies, Keces supplies two cables with an adapter set. Also here no problems with finding a size for your diet. Another nice thing about the Keces is that the output voltage is switchable. At the back of the P3 we can choose a small switch for 12, 15 and 16 volts. The Keces P8 can handle up to 19 volts.

Keces-P3-4-1024x768.jpg
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QuadDiffusor

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MEASUREMENTS
Keces P3

KECESP3N.jpg
KECESP3.jpg
Keces-P3-tot-1kHz-belast-en-onbelast.jpg
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We see some crazy things on the AudioPrecision. The Keces P3 - and P8 - swing without load. (Much less than the standard wall plug, but more than the competitors). These oscillations are gone when the feed is loaded. And then the P3 is also very quiet. In the high frequency, the P3 is less quiet than the Sbooster and certainly less than the Farad. But the values are still neat.

In the second test with the square wave, the response is neat. No crazy distortions, fraying or other carelessness. It is striking that the block is a bit rounder than the competitors. Whether that is audible is another question ... It is measurable and reproducible.

Voltage loaded: 11.75
Voltage unloaded: 12.01
Noise max: -55 (370 Hz)
Noise min: -150
 
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QuadDiffusor

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MEASUREMENTS
Keces P8
KECESP8N.jpg
KECESP8.jpg

Keces-P8-tot-1kHz-belast-en-onbelast.jpg
Keces-P8-1kHz-tot-100kHz-belast-en-onbelast.jpg
Voltage loaded: 11.7
Voltage unloaded: 12.12
Noise max: -58 (570 Hz)
Noise min: -151

LISTENING
Is the Keces an upgrade? Certainly! The differences are obvious. Much more refinement, openness and tranquility compared to the standard diet in the Mytek. But to be honest: we think the middle is a bit too prominent. It is crazy: the whole just seems to "push" more in the middle area. We do not have that feeling with the Sbooster and Farad nutrition. The high is very beautiful. And the low idem. The level of detail is also fine ... No complaints there. If you have a set that could use a little more energy in the middle, this is a good choice. If the whole is already in balance and you are simply looking for an overall improvement, then we estimate that a Sbooster or Farad is a better choice.

SUMMARY
Keces makes beautiful products. The two - or three - outputs are handy. And the cupboard is beautiful. However, we find the noise measurement unloaded somewhat remarkable. Also the middle area may be a little less prominent ... Sound wise the P3 and P8 are the same in our test. We therefore find the price of the P8 somewhat hefty.
 

vhs

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MEASUREMENTS
Keces P8
View attachment 61090
View attachment 61091

View attachment 61092
View attachment 61093
Voltage loaded: 11.7
Voltage unloaded: 12.12
Noise max: -58 (570 Hz)
Noise min: -151

LISTENING
Is the Keces an upgrade? Certainly! The differences are obvious. Much more refinement, openness and tranquility compared to the standard diet in the Mytek. But to be honest: we think the middle is a bit too prominent. It is crazy: the whole just seems to "push" more in the middle area. We do not have that feeling with the Sbooster and Farad nutrition. The high is very beautiful. And the low idem. The level of detail is also fine ... No complaints there. If you have a set that could use a little more energy in the middle, this is a good choice. If the whole is already in balance and you are simply looking for an overall improvement, then we estimate that a Sbooster or Farad is a better choice.

SUMMARY
Keces makes beautiful products. The two - or three - outputs are handy. And the cupboard is beautiful. However, we find the noise measurement unloaded somewhat remarkable. Also the middle area may be a little less prominent ... Sound wise the P3 and P8 are the same in our test. We therefore find the price of the P8 somewhat hefty.
Great report!
 

QuadDiffusor

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Farad-Super3-1-1024x768.jpg
Farad-Super3-6-1024x768.jpg
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FARAD SUPER3

Farad is a new brand that comes from the Pink Faun stable. We have a first version with a housing that can still change. Technically, however, it will remain the same. That means that we can take this into account in the test.

The Farad has one output with a voltage of 12 volts in this case. You can choose between standard cables or a chic cable with a nice boot and a kind of carbon plug. (additional charge 60 euros).

The design of the Farad is a bit different. This is mainly due to the super caps (hence the name Super3) that Farad uses. That also means that this power supply needs to charge for a while before we can switch it on and start using it. Count on about 30 seconds before energy is transmitted. The same applies the other way around: draining the Farad takes a while ... It really is a kind of super-battery.



MEASUREMENTS
Farad Super3
FARADS3N.jpg FARADS3.jpg
Farad-Super-3-tot-1kHz-belast-en-onbelast.jpg
Farad-Super-3-1kHz-tot-100kHz-belast-en-onbelast.jpg

Voltage loaded: 11.8
Voltage unloaded: 12.14
Noise max: -122 (55 KHz)
Noise min: -145

Sjonge… (WOW!) how good the Farad Super3 measures! There is actually no noise at all. So this is going to be a very boring story. We see nothing at all on the AudioPrecision: a stable noise level of around -140 dBV to around 1 kHz. From 1 kHz we see that it rises slightly towards the 50 kHz. But yes: around -130 to -125 dBV, so what are we talking about?

The square wave also comes through nicely, although it seems to be slightly muted. Perhaps the result of a coil or the supercaps ...

LISTENING
Rest, rest, rest ... The Farad is a special product. It lifts the Mytek one level above that of the Sbooster. We hear more black, more music. Purely because of the silence it can bring. The voice of Beth Gibbons is completely loose (intended positively) and has received a beautiful natural timbre. No hardness. The edges around the high hats are also completely gone. The dac is also no longer close to busier, more complex work. Very special to hear this. If you think it can't be better ... It can be done. Absolutely a top product.
 

QuadDiffusor

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CONCLUSION
What an interesting test! We were able to put five top products next to each other. Both affordable and spicy at the price. We were also able to see on a measuring bench what they are technically capable of. Does the best measuring diet sound the best? Well ... in this case. But our measurements are still fairly precise. So take that into account. However, the new Farad shows its potential on the measuring bench. And in practice he shows that it is a high flyer. The price of around 500 euros is justified. Sbooster also shows his muscles here. With 329 euros a very just priced product that takes the Mytek to a much higher level. Ifi does not come along soundwise. But the question is whether this smaller food is suitable for a dac ... we do not recommend it. However: smaller products are fine. And yes: that will certainly sound better. And Keces ...? Great stuff: but not sound our taste. And from a technical point of view, they do crazy things ... In our opinion, they still have some homework to do.
 

QuadDiffusor

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QuadDiffusor

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Here are some objective data on the noise which appears on a power strip when power supplies (both LPS and SMPS, as well as the two together) are plugged in.

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/thre...-crème-de-la-crème.27433/page-175#post-643270

In addition to the noise spectrum on the DC output, it seems equally important to understand what spurious noise is being “injected” back into the source AC line. And for that objective, what are the best devices to contain and isolate the noise?

Balanced toroidal AC line conditioners, especially the bifilar designs - Equi=tech, PLiXiR, Torus, etc.? How well do AC regenerators like PS Audio P20s tolerate having balanced toroidals plugged into their output duplexes?
 

Charlie B.

Well-Known Member
Based on the praise I bought a Farad super3 in 19V (230V input) to replace my old HDPlex driving my music computer.
My subjective finding after only about 15 hours of running in:
An upgrade well worth it: cleaner sound, more quiet background, more small details, better 3d imaging.
Thanks for the recommendation!

Charlie
 
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adamaley

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I have three of these, one without the upgraded SR Orange fuse. I can't speak to the difference the fuse makes, but I also purchased an upgraded DC output cable for one of them, and the difference is clear. They are also very responsive to upgraded power cables.

Btw, how many amps is your Farad putting out? Last I spoke to Mattijs, they were working on a higher amperage version. Are you using it to power your CPU or your motherboard?
 

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